Special Pennine Way Backpacking Week (part 2)
from Monday 29 May (or Tuesday 30) to Saturday 3 June 2017

Map details will follow on trip confirmation ...


Having completed the first part of the Pennine Way in June 2016 (Edale to Hawes), it is proposed to walk from Hawes to Greenhead, a distance of about 85-90 miles over 5 or 6 days. The outline itinerary is given below, with 5 and 6 day options.

Accommodation (other than camping) for the first 2 nights is scarce, so if bunkhouse or B&B is required, booking as soon as possible is necessary .. so can I ask you to confirm your interest by 19th March and I will try to make a booking. This would commit you to paying about £55 - £85 into the Club account for a bunkhouse and hotel night if available (indicative prices below), which would not be refundable if a booking was made. This would obviously lighten your backpacks as no camping gear would be required. No deposit is required for camping as we’ll pay on arrival.

There are vacancies at the 3 Youth Hostels, but again these can fill up quickly. I’d book these in advance too at a cost of about £61 for the 3 nights, again with your non-refundable payment to the Club account. This would make the total accommodation cost about £115-£145 (about £80 for campers with 3 YH nights). Other accommodation may be available but this can be expensive.

Evening meals should be available each night, although I’ve not yet confirmed this for Langdon Beck. There are small shops at Bowes (6 day option), Middleton, Dufton and Alston to stock up on walking supplies.

Outline Itinerary

6 day option (via Bowes + 5 mile loop):

Day 1 (Monday) Hawes to Keld (Camping or bunkhouse) – 12 miles
We’ll travel by train to Garsdale via Carlisle, then local minibus to Hawes, where out walk begins. Exact time to be confirmed (depends on whether a stretch of the Carlisle – Settle railway is re-opened) but probably about 7am from Glasgow Central. Lunch in Hawes or Hardraw (2 miles from Hawes en route).

This section climbs over Great Shunner Fell but is fairly gradual, on a partly slabbed route. Keld bunkhouse has only a few beds £21. Camping price £6. Local pub.

Day 2 (Tuesday) Keld to Bowes (Camping or B&B) – 13 miles
We pass by the Tan Hill Inn but probably too early for lunch. Mostly moorland walking.

Ancient Unicorn Hotel, Bowes £35 to share a twin room, £64 single occupancy. The intended camp site looks to have closed up so this could be a problem! A wild camp is a possibility for that night, rejoining the others in the morning or at Middleton.

Day 3 (Wed) Bowes to Langdon Beck (Youth Hostel) – 19 miles
YH £18, evening meal and breakfast may be available. From Middleton this follows the river Tees.

Although 19 miles, there are no major ascents. The first 10 miles could be avoided by taking the bus From Bowes to Barnard Castle and change there for Middleton. There is even a bus (about lunchtime) from Middleton to Langdon Beck, but there’s not much there.

Day 4 (Thurs) Langdon Beck to Dufton (Youth Hostel) – 12 miles
The route passes through High Cup Nick. YH £18, evening meal and breakfast may be available. Local pub. A fairly short day with time to rest before day 5.
problem! A wild camp is a possibility for that night, rejoining the others in the morning or at Middleton.

Day 5 (Fri) Dufton to Alston (Youth Hostel) – 19 miles
This is the big day, with an ascent to almost 3000 feet on Cross Fell. YH £25, evening meal and breakfast available and several pubs. There should be several other B&B options. Camping may also be a possibility. The only option if you don’t fancy the ascent is to cut the trip short by 1 day, local bus to Appleby and train to Carlisle. That would be a pity as this is probably the best day of the trip – weather permitting.
problem! A wild camp is a possibility for that night, rejoining the others in the morning or at Middleton.

Day 6 (Sat) Alston to Greenhead – 16 miles
Possible extension along a section of Hadrian’s wall and on to Haltwhistle to reduce distance for Part 3 of the Pennine Way. This is an easy but relatively uninteresting day. Bus and/or train to Carlisle the back to Glasgow.

There is a bus from Alston to Haltwhistle, where you could pick up the train to Glasgow.

5 day option

The Tuesday 30th May option avoids the town of Bowes and enables the trip to be completed in one day less, albeit with 2 longer days.

Day 1 as before.

Day 2 Keld to Middleton – 20 miles, camping or hotel or B&B.

Day 3 Middleton to Dufton – 20 miles, YH or camping

Day 4 and 5 – same as days 5 and 6 above.

What next?

Please let me know by 19th March if you intend to come on this walk.

This will be followed up with a £100 initial deposit to the Club account, if you wish bunkhouse or B&B accommodation for the first 2 nights, and 3 nights YH accommodation (£61 for 3 nights YH for campers).

Allan Boyd, Pennine Way Organiser

e:  allan.boyd@homecall.co.uk

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